Beginning Friday, audiences who go to see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island will be treated to a new original Looney Tunes adventure starring Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. In Daffy’s Rhapsody, Fudd heads to the theater dressed in a tuxedo but his night is turned upside down when his primal instincts take over at the sight of one certain expectorating duck. The short — which will play in 2-D and 3-D depending on the theater’s format — was inspired by an old Mel Blanc song, and director Matthew O’Callaghan (Curious George) had to craft a story to support the original recording. “‘Daffy Rhapsody’ was originally recorded in the early 1950s as part of a kids’ album,” says O’Callaghan, who has directed several Looney Tunes shorts, including the Sylvester and Tweety mini that recently played before Happy Feet 2. “But it was never animated.” Click below for an exclusive image:
Preserving Blanc’s original vocals as Daffy, O’Callaghan built a story around the song. “Much to Elmer’s surprise, Daffy’s on stage singing about the woes of always being the victim to the hunters that are always shooting at him,” says O’Callaghan. “Being the showman that he is, Daffy has to continue singing the song to the audience while he’s trying to outmaneuver Elmer.”
Rhapsody is the first CG or 3-D depiction of these specific Looney Tunes characters, but O’Callaghan appreciates that the magic isn’t in the technological gimmickry. “All my shots are designed with 3-D in mind, but I hope audiences don’t think too much about that, to be honest,” he says. “I wanted it to have the same comfort-food feel as the old shorts, and I think the content rises above the actual gimmick.”
That’s not to say you shouldn’t expect to feel like you have to dodge Daffy’s spittle flying at you in the back row. “There is a little bit of that so bring your rain gear,” laughs the director.